[Kristina's hand.] Somewhere in my childhood I was taught to look forward to a temple marriage, a celestial marriage, a “marriage for time and all eternity.” I was taught to keep myself morally clean and faithful to my future wife throughout all the intervening years before I should ever meet her. Like all young people I suffered the struggles of loneliness and premature desire. I prayed to Heavenly Father and told Him that I wanted a good wife someday.
Pam and I got married
For our honeymoon we drove from
Now, some 20 plus years later, my older kids are entering the age of relationships which causes me to reflect on the hazards of young people—so uninformed, so naïve, so unrealistic, so foolish, so impulsive—looking for love and companionship. I see a large segment of society has lost hope in traditional marriage yet I think most people still root for a love story with a happy ending. Worse, I see the moral attitudes of young people to be self-destructive and not leading to lasting happiness. Letting sexual impulses rule one’s life seems to be no different than letting hard drugs rule one’s life. While on TV we sometimes see advertisements that send a warning message, “Just Say NO to Drugs,” society has not yet reached the point where it can articulate the downside of misguided sexuality.
Some months ago I was reading a philosophy book by Will Durant, an atheist. Towards the end of the book Durant wrote about youth and love. Much to my surprise his words resonated with me in a way that “churchy” voices rarely do any more. I felt moved as I read his words and I felt an inner confirmation that the path that I had chosen was correct and still the best path to teach to my children.
“Youth, if it were wise, would cherish love beyond all things else, keeping body and soul clean for its coming, lengthening its days with months of betrothal, sanctioning it with a marriage of solemn ritual, making all things subordinate to it resolutely. Wisdom, if it were young, would cherish love, nursing it with devotion, deepening it with sacrifice, vitalizing it with parentage, making all things subordinate to it till the end. Even though it consumes us in its service and overwhelms us with tragedy, even though it breaks us down with its passing and weighs us down with separations, let it be first.”
-Will Durant, The Pleasures of Philosophy, Page 401